Rue’s Race

Were there really readers who thought that Rue was ” the little blonde innocent girl you picture“? The text says specifically – and on a variety of occasions – that she has dark skin and thick black hair.

One has to have major issues going on to imagine a character described this way as “blonde.”

As a literary critic, I find it very curious when people impose their own psychological problems on the text. I’m now reading criticism on a novel where a 50-year-old protagonist leaves her husband and finds a much younger lover. Many male critics of that age bracket obviously bring something deeply personal to the reading of the book and give strange moralistic rants on how it’s wrong to leave one’s husband right in the middle of their scholarly articles!

I also remember how a very famous critic read the scene where a former husband viciously brutalizes his ex-wife as evidence that their relationship had progressed and they would now be very happy together.

The good news is that in literary criticism such things are rare enough to be memorable. In sociology, however, people do nothing but sell their psychological hangups as scholarship.

4 thoughts on “Rue’s Race”

  1. Apparently there were readers who completely ignored the part of the book that described Rue. Prim was blond and blue-eyed, therefore in the stunted imagination of these creatures the only way for Rue to remind Katniss of her was for Rue to also be blond and blue-eyed. It floors me too, as does the disappointed reaction to finding out Rue was black, as was the complete lack of self-consciousness in stating that on a public forum like the internet. When I was the age of those readers, no one would have admitted to such thoughts out loud, or at least, they would have confided it to only their closest friends. For one thing, how stupid can you get. I can only suppose that none of those kids had ever been allowed to hear that any thought or action of theirs was stupid or wrong. It goes beyond racism to a complete inability to discern anything.

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      1. I don’t think they even recognize that aspect of the books; they just think of it as a fantasy and they can all role-play the parts. No one has to mature anymore in the US, haven’t you heard? Maturity has been rendered obsolete. It’s ageist or something.

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